WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) -- After a bust last week, a Johnston homeowner is charged with running a big marijuana growing operation, and now, Eyewitness News has learned he's a firefighter, off work due to an injury suffered while on the job.
David Lashus, 49, is a Johnston firefighter. State police have charged him with the cultivation of marijuana and the possession with the intent to deliver marijuana.
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Investigators found 100 plants and 15 pounds of packaged marijuana, along with an ounce of illegal hallucinogenic mushrooms, two semi-automatic rifles, one shotgun and three handguns and nearly $8,000 in cash.
In court Tuesday, a judge ordered Lashus held on $25,000 bail with surety, on the condition that he be held on home confinement after that.
Lashes' defense lawyer revealed that his client has serious medical issues.
"He's got a debilitating back condition, a case of sleep apnea, suffers from high blood pressure and he's a diabetic," said Gerrick Van Deusen.
Since Lashus is a public employee on injury-on-duty leave, which differs from disability leave, he's been receiving full pay, free of state and federal income taxes.
Lashus was arrested Friday after his 21-year-old son, Aaron Lashus, signed for a package delivered to the family's home in Johnston. Aaron Lashus was charged with possession of marijuana and released pending a future court appearance.
According to the State Police, the investigation began Nov. 7 when police in California intercepted a package containing eight pounds of marijuana, addressed to a home on Plainfield Street in Johnston.
The package was handed over to the Rhode Island State Police, and with the help of the Johnston Police Department, police delivered the package to the Johnston home on November 9.
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